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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Magicians of old » » Harry Blackstone Junior (52 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Neale Bacon
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Inner circle
Burnaby BC Canada
1775 Posts

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I saw Harry in 1986 at Expo 86 in Vancouver.

I remember 2 things ..1 was helping him on stage during the famous "card trick" bit where he gets 10 guys on stage and tried to do a card trick, but it becomes a comedy pick pocket routine.

I also remember it was a pitifully small audience, and Harry was going to do a backstage with the magician routine. Gayes line was "Harry you can't show people how it's done"

His reply.."There's not enough people here to make a difference!"
Neale Bacon and his Crazy Critters
Burnaby BC
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David Todd
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Inner circle
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Thanks for the memory , Neale.

I miss Harry Blackstone . Seems to me that he was taken much too soon . He ought to be one of our elder Statesmen, showing up at Abbott's Get-Togethers and other conventions well into his late 90's .
Tom James
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Cincinnati, Ohio
139 Posts

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I remember Blackstone Jr.. When I was a kid the first magic set I ever got was a Blackstone Jr. set. I loved it to bad I do not have it any more. It would be a great start up kit for my son. The Blackstone family was so infulical in magic I do not know where we would be with out them both. I can not wait to meet Gaye next week at the IBM convention, just so I can thank her for what her husband and father in law did for me as a young magician.

Keep the Magic ALIVE

Tom James
Tony Chapparo
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Albuquerque, NM
705 Posts

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I was lucky enough to see Blackstone Jr. when I was about 11 yrs. old.

To this day it is one of the best magic shows I have ever seen... also one of my fondest memories from childhood.

I still have the ticket stub and the original program. Ahhh... memories!
Tony Chapparo
Pete Biro
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1933 - 2018
18560 Posts

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I saw Blackstone Sr., 12 times and he was incredible... I went onstage and slipped him my watch (to save him picking it) and when I did he said, "You again? Thanks."

I got the chance to take some nifty photos of him too.

Another guy that was a RIOT in vaudeville's last days, was Dai Vernon's sillouette cutting budy and comedy magician, Larry Gray... I never laughed so hard (until Ballantine came along).
STAY TOONED... @ www.pete-biro.com
MarkTripp
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Michigan
618 Posts

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I ran into Harry and Gay many times over the years as our tours crossed.

I think I had my shirt pulled more times than anyone by him.

He is greatly missed....
Rob Johnston
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Utah
2060 Posts

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"Genius is another word for magic, and the whole point of magic is that it is inexplicable." - Margot Fonteyn
007mystic
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Indianapolis
63 Posts

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I fondly remember playing cards at the legion during Abbotts with Harry Jr And Gay. They are both very good people.
The weaver of Illusions
Avrakdavra
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The Pine Tree State, USA
224 Posts

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I had the pleasure of watching HB,Jr. perform at an event at Swarthmore College. His style was amazingly playful, laid back, almost impromptu-- was this typical, or did it reflect the fact that he was among old friends and fellow alumni?
Tony S
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New York
581 Posts

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I saw Mr. Blackstone perform on several occasions, my favorite being at the Westbury Music Fair on Long Island. I had the good fortune to meet him after his show and he was very gracious and spent some time talking to me and a few other people. He was a true gentleman and a wonderful performer.

Does anyone know Mr. Blackstone's cause of death?
We are all about as successful as we choose to be.



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Avrakdavra
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The Pine Tree State, USA
224 Posts

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According to the website that Astinus linked to above, HB,Jr. died from pancreatic cancer.
Michael Baker
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Eternal Order
Near a river in the Midwest
11157 Posts

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My uncle, Kurt Brokaw, a very fine NYC magician once worked for an advertising agency that hired Harry Jr. to do magic for a "Vanish" bowl cleaner commercial. I was sent a copy of the original story board when I was a kid. It, and mention that I was a magician was all I needed to get a backstage invitation from Harry and Gay, two very delightful and friendly people.
~michael baker
The Magic Company
Marshall Thornside
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chicago
2016 Posts

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One year before he passed away we did a trade.

Approximate a year or prior my dad and I found
a piece of sheet music with the broadway poster
for the song "oriental fantasy". We bought it
right away. Found out it was used in broadway
themed concert at Lincoln Center.

The following summer when we went to Abbots for
the last time since, we saw Harry and fam. He
was very sentimental over seeing dad, as my
father has known since he was boy. He hugged dad,
caught us by suprised. Anyway I told him about the
music and he aksed if I could find it again.

It was harder this time around because the music
had been out-of-print. But I did find a copy. Probably
the very last one I guess. In turn he sent me
an a broadway poster signed.

"Uncle" Harry

A year and 4 months later he passed away.
you will remember my name

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Bill Palmer
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Eternal Order
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Harry, Jr. was a friend of mine. We worked together at Magic Island in Houston, when it first opened. I opened for him at the Music Hall in Houston in 1976 when he appeared here for the TAOM, and I met his son, HB III that year, as well.

He was a real gentleman and a fine fellow, to boot.
"The Swatter"

Founder of CODBAMMC

My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

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Brent W
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Ohio
123 Posts

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I too got my start in magic with one of the Blackstone magic sets.I bought another one a few years ago at an auction. I got the chance to see Harry Jr live several times and will never forget sitting in the first table seeing his dinner show on a small stage in Ohio and the floating bulb crashing to the ground...I still have a piece of the glass.
One of the greatest magicians of this century.
hugmagic
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7338 Posts

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Brett, I was there at Tangiers the night the bulb went down. It was not one of the most memorable moments for me being backstage. But Harry talked his way out of it and finished the show strong as only he could.
Richard E. Hughes, Hughes Magic Inc., 352 N. Prospect St., Ravenna, OH 44266 (330)296-4023
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Write direct as I will be turning off my PM's.
rtgreen
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Portland, Oregon
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I'd like to know what he said. He handled audiences so well, I'm sure he did something special.
Brent W
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Ohio
123 Posts

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I can remember Gay taking a step and covering the "secret" with her foot.

Posted: Jul 19, 2004 8:35am
Tangier's was the place Richard. I think Harry said something about his concentration being lost...he covered it like the pro that he was.
espresto
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I was lucky to see Blackstone, Jr. perform in Washington, D.C. in 1980. The Dancing Hanky and the Floating Lightbulb were the two effects I remember to this day. In 1984 I bumped into him at a 7-11 store in West Los Angles. He was wearing a tuxedo and can only assume he had just fininshed a peformance. We actually had a small chat and was very gracious indeed.
hugmagic
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That night at Tangiers he did not have the normal assistant helping him. the bulb failed not once but twice on a Saturday night with a house full of magicians. He still gave a hell of a show.

The second time he could not do it ( second show), he said something like "ladies and gentleman we were going to do our piece de la resistance at this point but there seems to be some problem with the voltage. We need DC and apparantly this is AC. So if we can get a few gentlmen up on the stage to help I will show you something really special." With that he went into committee (Rope Tie) and closed the show strong.

Working with Harry was always an adventure. He could adlib and think so fast that you just never knew what he was going to say or where he might be going with something. He taught me a lot about be a pro and I miss him greatly.
Richard E. Hughes, Hughes Magic Inc., 352 N. Prospect St., Ravenna, OH 44266 (330)296-4023
www.hughesmagic.com
email-hugmagic@raex.com
Write direct as I will be turning off my PM's.
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